In yesterday’s post, I presented 4 stages a person/couple must go through to create permanent changes.
If you missed it please click here.
The first step is the start of where a persons breakthrough really starts.
Couples in the process at stage 2 and 3 with me are telling me they can now see very clearly why they were in so much disconnect.
This is important to learn because it allows each person to see the relationship through each other’s perspectives and that helps each person take responsibility for their part in their journey to their crisis.
That first step is Unconscious Incompetence.
It’s important because I know that every couple that comes to me for help is going to be in this space.
They don’t know what they don’t know and this helps them stay disconnected from themselves and each other.
- Some are disconnected from themselves and they don’t know why.
- Some have needs that are not being met but they don’t know what those needs are.
- Some are unaware they feel bad because of their own distorted interpretations of their marriage.
- Some have belief systems that block their emotional success.
- Some people have conflict in a way that kills their connection.
- Some people think that blame and judgments will fix the problems.
- Some people have no clue what they value and the impact those values will have on them.
- Many think their partner thinks the same as them.
The process of education to undo distorted thinking is such an important step as it will affect how the person feels and how they show up in the sessions.
You simply cannot put a couple in a process without them understanding what has been happening to them and why.
I hear so many lost opportunities
I remember speaking to a lady whose husband was exiting the marriage but was willing to try counseling.
What you are about to read I have heard a lot so I wanted to help you hear this important perspective.
The process they were in allowed him initially to share his feelings about how hurt he felt, and what she did that in his mind was wrong.
He freely spoke about his upset at her.
He felt good about that part of the process, he got a lot off his chest.
The process then shifted to her feelings and she did the same. She shared her concerns about him and how he also had also failed her.
It’s always the case that there are two sides of pain and suffering.
As soon as he heard her side he stopped the counselling and filed for divorce!
This is the reason I don’t put couples in “the ring” together before they can translate each other correctly
You simply cannot put two people in a room without helping them understand how to hear each other before they start communicating.
Two people in emotional stress are not going to hear each other perspectives correctly or with compassion.
This is why crisis work is so specialised it has to assess what each person will cope with so they stay in a learning state.
A person defending themselves is not learning and is ready to fight or run.
When the couple are on a knifes edge and it could fall either way how their process is handled is critical.
A couple in stress do not need more stress.
You see he was in so much pain through his own interpretation of his wife’s behaviors he couldn’t bear to hear her side so he simply shut down.
It doesn’t mean his interpretation was right, but in the moment perception is everything and this is how reactive destructive decisions can be made.
The problem wasn’t that she also suffered, the problem was he was in so much pain himself it tipped him into hopelessness.
He should never been in that type of meeting with his wife until he had the correct translation of his own emotions and hers first.
He had to be in the right mindset to be able to hear her struggles from a position of learning and growth.
His mindset was simply too defensive.
Without the right connection to himself he would naturally enter survival mode as he heard her criticise him.
In this situation, both the husband and the wife were in the place of Unconscious Incompetence all they were focused on was their own pain.
Their focus was themselves.
The model of a successful relationship is not about “me”. So until they were helped into that success model how were they going to hear each other constructively?
Until they were in a new space of Conscious Incompetence then putting them together to share their feelings would always bring them to blows and more stress is risky when one person is considering their exit.
He had no fight left so in survival mode the exit was all he felt he had left to action.
The moment the process is about learning the couple are in a much better place to ultimately decide the direction their life should take.